Small Charity Week celebrates and raises awareness of the essential work of the UK’s small charities which make such an invaluable contribution to the lives of millions of individuals, communities and causes across the UK. TimeBank may be a small charity but we are doing a big job, thanks to our volunteers who make such an impact on the communities where we work.
In our Birmingham office we are running three projects: Talking Together, Time Together, and Hidden Carers. Through these projects our volunteers are teaching English to women who otherwise would have no access to basic English classes, mentoring refugees and asylum seekers, and explaining the rights of carers to people doing informal caring roles. Together these projects are helping to tackle extensive social problems, utilising the compassion and skills of local people.
As well as working with local volunteers, we work with community grassroots organisations to deliver our projects. This not only helps to strengthen our work, but also builds the capacity of the organisations we partner with. Talking Together funds local organisations to provide English lessons for primarily Somali, Bangladeshi and Pakistani women. Once the English course has finished, the community organisation is then left with a scheme of work which they can use to organise their own English classes, which also helps to strengthen their capacity.
Another successful partnership on the Time Together project has recently been with the Birmingham LGBT centre. Working together means we can match LGBT asylum seekers to a purposefully selected volunteer to support them. Working in partnership in this way means that community organisations put their trust into TimeBank, and know that we can deliver projects with big impact, and with outstanding volunteers.